Clearwire Investor Wants FCC to Block Sprint Sale
Jan 4, 2013, 6:00 PM by Eric M. Zeman
Crest Financial, an investment firm that owns about 8% of Clearwire, plans to ask the Federal Communications Commission to prevent Sprint from acquiring the remainder of the troubled mobile broadband company. Sprint owns just over 50% and is looking to acquire the remaining 49%. At issue is the price offered by Sprint for Clearwire. Sprint bid $2.97 per share for a total of about $2.2 billion. Crest believes the per-share price offered by Sprint "grossly undervalues Clearwire" and its spectrum holdings. Crest plans to argue to the FCC that by undervaluing Clearwire's spectrum, it could result in lost revenue for the government in future spectrum sales. "The merger is therefore a bad deal all around for Clearwire shareholders and also for the public at large," said Dave Schumacher, a lawyer for Crest. Crest has already filed a separate lawsuit seeking to block the sale to Sprint. Crest is also hoping to prevent Comcast, Intel, and Bright House Networks, which combined own 13% of Clearwire, from voting on the deal due to their close business ties with Sprint. The deal needs federal approval and the approval of both Sprint's and Clearwire's boards.
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